What Happens if a Mail Truck Gets into an Accident?
Being injured in a collision caused by a mail truck driver is not something most people worry about on a day-to-day basis. But, although rare, mail truck crashes can occur. So what happens if a mail truck gets into an accident?
- Mail carriers are federal employees, and, as such, cannot be sued in the same way a typical at-fault driver would be.
- A law called the Federal Tort Claims Act may allow you to recover compensation after injuries and property damage caused by a negligent on-duty postal worker.
- Holding the federal government liable for your injuries is a complicated legal process that requires the help of a skilled attorney.
Who Is Responsible if a Mail Truck Hits Me?
When discussing a mail truck, most people are referring to the vehicles driven by our local mail carriers. These vehicles are typically either owned directly by the federal government, or, in some cases, by a subcontractor hired by the government.
The United States Postal Service (USPS) is the government entity that owns mail trucks, and mail carriers and mail delivery truck drivers are, therefore, employees of the federal government.
If a mail truck driver causes an accident, they can’t be held liable in the same way a private party could.
Generally, if you are injured by a negligent Amazon delivery driver, UPS driver, FedEx driver, food delivery driver, or private motorist, you could file a personal injury claim or lawsuit directly against the at-fault motorist or their employer. This type of civil legal action is the way injured parties can recover compensation for economic and noneconomic losses like medical bills, pain and suffering, lost wages, and property damage.
However, because the party responsible for a collision caused by a mail truck driver is a government entity, the legal process can’t work the same way.
Can I File an Injury Claim Against USPS?
A legal concept called “sovereign immunity” protects the government from being sued by individuals. Sovereign immunity, then, in theory, protects government employees like mail carriers and their employer, the United States Postal Service, from being sued by a motorist injured in a mail truck crash. This also means that mail truck drivers don’t need to carry liability insurance coverage the same way other commercial drivers do.
However, there are ways that a negligent or reckless mail truck driver can be held accountable. Mail truck accidents do sometimes happen, injuring innocent parties in the process. It would be highly unjust if there was no accountability at all for negligent drivers, and a mail carrier could get away with causing any type of crash and injuries without penalty.
If you were injured by a careless or reckless USPS driver, you still have options.
One way you may be able to hold a Postal Service driver liable for your injuries and vehicle damage is through a law called the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA).
How Does the Federal Tort Claims Act Affect My Mail Truck Accident Case?
The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) is a law under which the federal government acts as its own self-insurer and recognizes liability for “the negligent or wrongful acts or omissions of its employees acting within the scope of their official duties.”
Under the provisions of the FTCA, the government can be held liable for injuries caused by its employees in the same way an individual could be held liable. In such a case, the United States would be the defendant in the suit, rather than the individual employee whose actions caused your injuries.
If you are an individual who was “injured or whose property [was] damaged by the wrongful or negligent act of a federal employee acting in the scope of his or her official duties,” you may be able to file a claim for reimbursement for injury and/or property damage.
However, there are certain stipulations that must be met for a claim to be valid, including the ability to prove that:
- You were injured or your property was damaged by a federal government employee
- The employee was acting within the scope of their official duties (they were not off duty)
- The employee was acting negligently or wrongfully
- The employee’s negligent or wrongful act was the cause of your injury or property damage
If you believe the negligence or wrongful behavior of an on-duty postal worker caused your injury and vehicle property damage, our legal team at Trucking Injury Law Group can assess your case to see if you have grounds for a claim.
How Long Do I Have To File a Claim After a Mail Truck Accident?
If you have grounds to file a claim against the federal government for reimbursement for your mail truck accident losses, you must do so within two years. This two-year statute of limitations bars injured individuals from taking legal action once the two-year deadline has passed.
If you got into an accident with a mail truck driver, meet with a lawyer as soon as possible. Building a claim and filing the correct evidence and documentation takes time. You don’t want to risk missing out on much-needed compensation because the timeframe for action has lapsed.
What Kind of Lawyer Handles Mail Truck Accident Cases?
Navigating the intricacies of an injury case involving a government entity is no easy task. To successfully recover the compensation you deserve after a mail truck crash, you need the help of an experienced Reno truck accident attorney specializing in complex truck accident cases.
Mail truck accident cases demand a full understanding of the laws governing legal action after an injury caused by a federal government employee. At Trucking Injury Law Group, we have the knowledge, resources, and specialized expertise to help you through a difficult scenario like this.
Your case is in the best hands when it is handled by our Super Team. We’ll review all details related to your case and advise you of the legal options you have. Our free consultation session will provide you with the information you need to move forward. There is no fee or obligation to meet with one of our attorneys to discuss your case.
We represent clients and families throughout the United States, including those in Nevada and Reno. Please reach out to our law office by phone or via the online contact form to schedule a meeting.